What To Look For When Buying Safety Glasses

Safety Glasses

When working in construction, manufacturing, or any other job requiring eye protection, finding the correct pair of safety glasses is critical to preventing injury. If you’re not sure what to look for when selecting a pair for yourself, we’ll help you out. Finding the right pair of safety glasses for you means looking at everything from lens materials and coatings to frame styles and fit. So whether you’re an experienced PPE pro or new to the world of eye protection, you might learn a little or a lot—but keep reading.

Selecting the Correct Safety Glasses for Your Workplace

Selecting the proper safety glasses is a major factor in how well you’re protected against eye injuries. When making your selection, there are a few things to take into account such as what type of work you do, the environment in which you work, and personal preferences.

Lenses are going to be the most crucial component of whichever glasses you choose. There are a few different variations of lenses, each with its own unique protections. Impact-resistant and scratch-resistant lenses are the two most popular types.

Impact-resistant lenses feature thicker material that can withstand high-impact collisions while scratch-resistant lenses have an added coating that helps prevent scratches.

Your workplace environment will dictate which safety glasses you need. If there’s dust or other particles in the air, make sure your glasses have vents or filters for easy cleaning. If working outdoors is part of your job description, opt for lenses with UV protection to shield you from harmful UV rays.

Also, when selecting safety glasses it’s essential to take into account your personal preferences. Make sure they’re comfortable to wear and don’t obstruct your vision. Additionally, think about the style of frames and whether lens features such as polarized or non-polarized lenses best suit your needs.

Types of Glasses and Options

When it comes to safety glasses, you might think they’re limited to the style of regular glasses with added strength. However, there are quite a few different styles that also come with unique features.

Even though the most popular type is the traditional style, there are others available.

Clear Lens Safety Glasses – Clear lenses are the most common type of safety glasses, providing great protection from flying debris and other hazards. They come in various styles such as wrap-around and anti-fog options to suit any preference.

Prescription Safety Glasses –  Perfect for those who require vision correction but still wish to wear protective eyewear to safeguard their eyes from potential hazards. There are plenty of frames that will accept special prescription lenses for most corrections.

Side Shields – Side shields attach to the sides of existing glasses or goggles and provide extra protection from flying debris and other hazards. They’re an ideal option if you need more coverage but don’t want to wear full-face shields.

Full-Face Shields – Full-face shields offer the highest level of protection from flying debris and other hazards. They cover your entire face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth. This type of shield is perfect for those working in hazardous environments or with special needs.

Important Safety Features to Consider

When purchasing safety glasses, there are a few features that can impact safety that you should take into consideration.

ANSI Rating

Make sure the glasses you select have an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rating, which guarantees they comply with minimum safety requirements set forth by government authorities. This helps guarantee a quality product.

The Z87.1 section of ANSI standards refers to the standards for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices. By adhering to these requirements, personal eye and face protection devices provide adequate shielding against impact, non-ionizing radiation, liquid splashes, and more.

With ANSI Z87.1 certification, safety eyewear is chosen based on what best protects workers against specific workplace hazards. Common risks include:

  • Blunt Force Impact
  • UV Radiation
  • Liquid Droplets & Splashes
  • Dust
  • Tiny Particles.

ANSI Z87.1 requires clear and unmistakable lens and frame markings to simplify the selection and boost compliance rates.

Lens Type & Material

There are three primary types of safety lenses:

  • Clear lenses are best used indoors or in low light conditions and offer typical visibility.
  • Tinted lenses have a slight tint to them to protect your eyes from UV rays while offering improved visibility in bright conditions.
  • Photochromic lenses have a special reactive film embedded in them that automatically adjusts to changing light conditions. This gives them the flexibility to be used both indoors and outside.

Going hand in hand with the type of lens you opt for, is the material the lenses are made of.

When selecting safety glasses for your workplace, this consideration is one of the most crucial elements. It can make all the difference in how protected you are for your environment.

Different materials offer unique advantages and some drawbacks depending on preferences. In general, there are three main lens materials available:

Polycarbonate- One of the most widely used lens materials in safety glasses, polycarbonate is lightweight and shatter-resistant, making it suitable for most environments.

Tempered Glass- This lens material is extremely strong and highly resistant to shattering. One drawback is that due to the added toughness, it’s heavier than polycarbonate so it may not be ideal for all people.

Composite- Composite lenses are made up of various materials, such as glass and plastic, which provides the advantages of both glass and polycarbonate lenses. Although they tend to be a bit more expensive, they are an all-around great solution for many environments.

No matter which lens material you opt for, make sure it meets all OSHA standards for safety eyewear or you may not be getting the minimum protection your eyes need.

Frame Material & Fit

When selecting safety glasses, the frame material may seem insignificant but it is equally important to take into account. The frame material can affect both the durability and comfort of the glasses. For example, plastic frames may be lighter and more comfortable than metal ones but they also tend to break more easily.

You should also take into account your budget as well as what type of work you plan on doing. If you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting, metal or composite frames may be ideal. However, if your budget won’t allow it, plastic frames could also work just fine.

The material of your glasses frame can also affect how well they protect your eyes. Polycarbonate, for instance, is a strong yet lightweight material commonly used in safety glasses. While it offers good protection from impacts and UV rays, its clarity may not match that of glass for tasks requiring fine detail work such as jewelry repair.

Durability and comfort are two other things you need to consider in choosing the right safety glasses. A suitable pair should provide protection for your eyes while being comfortable enough to wear for extended periods. When it comes to fitting safety glasses properly at work, fit is key; if they don’t fit correctly, they could actually do more harm than good.

Blue Collar Optics Is Your One Stop Shop For Safety Glasses

Safety glasses are an integral part of any workplace, and selecting the right pair for your environment is key. Now that you have the knowledge to find the perfect pair for you, all that’s left to do is shop Blue Collar Optics.

We have experienced vision consultants to make sure you get informed on what will work best. And we carry only top-quality frames & lenses, paired with unrivaled customer service. Contact us today!


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